Not Your Average Upgrade
When Costpoint 7 was released in general availability last year, it ushered in the single largest change in the product’s history. Deltek modified over 13 million lines of code and spent over 120,000 hours testing these changes over a prolonged period. Unlike previous version upgrades, patches, and hot fixes, this system-wide upgrade requires meticulous planning and a thorough testing cycle to ensure that you get it right.
Last month, NeoSystems’ VP of Client Services, Randy Cole, presented The CFO’s Guide for Upgrading to Costpoint 7. In that presentation, he led a detailed review of the steps each Costpoint organization should take in order to minimize their risk when upgrading to Costpoint 7. It’s worth reiterating these steps, as each one needs careful attention.
Security & Functional Review
- Address user security, saved parameters, and process server setup. These will not transition cleanly into Costpoint 7. You’ll need to perform a deep review of each security setup to ensure that your users only have accessibility to the proper screens
- Evaluate your hardware. Can your current IT infrastructure accommodate the change in Costpoint’s technical requirements? If you need to buy new equipment, will you be able to repurpose your existing hardware?
- Don’t forget to evaluate software too. You’ll likely need to upgrade your Oracle, SQL Server, and/or Windows Server from the current version that Costpoint utilizes
Test Plan Development
- Develop project schedules and manage to those schedules
- Assign ownership of each major testing area and make that leader accountable for the results
- Plan for part time support from users as they likely already have full time jobs
- Document the test plans and the results
User Testing/Test Execution – While testing each and every component of Costpoint may be unrealistic, there are several key areas that cannot go untested. These include:
- All of your Costpoint 6 reports
- Integrations, including standard Deltek integrations such as Deltek Time
- Control screens, master tables, transacting, and processing
- Expect to find defects and plan time to address them during testing
- Make sure all hot fixes and patches are installed before you go-live
- Make back-up copies of your Costpoint 6 database prior to migrating over to Costpoint 7… just in case
And don’t forget to consider other product upgrades, as well. Given the broad impact that Costpoint 7 will have on accounting and finance operations, many Costpoint clients are using this as an opportunity to upgrade other products as well, such as moving from Cognos 8 to Cognos 10. Don’t forget that active support for Deltek Time & Expense 8.x will also end in October of this year. Make sure you handle that upgrade in time as well.